12 Outdoor Halloween Decoration Ideas That'll Bewitch Anyone Who Visits Your Front Door
Delight trick-or-treaters and visitors alike with our ideas for wreaths, templates and clip-art, as well as pumpkins galore.
Your entryway is brimming with Halloween décor potential—all you need is a little imagination. "Decorating the entrance of your home is a great way to greet guests with some Halloween spirit this season," says HomeGoods style expert Jenny Reimold. "It's a distinct area where you can get creative with color and different accessories."
Of course, the door itself can lead to a world of mystery and magic inside. "Decorating your door for Halloween is unique in that you can be more playful—and dark and adventurous—than any other holiday," says interior designer Mel Bean. "Go for accent items that will make your doorway look slightly spookier than usual, without sacrificing too much style." Outfit your porch or entryway with beastly birds and oversize arachnids, then watch the neighborhood kids descend in droves.
So, how do you strike the right balance? "I suggest creating a more subtly implied Halloween mood that's light on the holiday-themed décor," says Bean. "A wreath with black flowers, slightly gnarly branches, orange berries, and dark-colored planters can still work surprisingly well." Or you can always opt for fall-inspired front door accents that don't appear overly spirited or Halloween-specific. "Place pumpkin and gourd-shaped décor items, and planters around your front porch and door for a harvest-inspired look that's Halloween-friendly," suggests Reimold, "but that'll transition nicely into Thanksgiving, too."
Looking for some more sleek but scary ways to dress up your entry for All Hallows Eve? Here are a dozen outdoor Halloween decoration ideas that will have the trick-or-treaters in awe.
Flock of Crows
Black birds set an unwelcoming scene when they alight around a doorway flanked with stalks of dried corn. There are two kinds of crows here: Some are cut from tar paper, a weatherproof material used in roofing, and others are artificial store-bought ones. Both perch on vines and pumpkins with the help of metal wires.
Lined up the stairway to your front door, this gradient of gourds is devilish in the details: peachy Porcelain Doll, mottled Kakai, and blood-orange Cinderella Rouge pumpkin varieties are camouflaged with faux snakes and lizards.
You can count on these watchful planters to oggle at trick-or-treaters approaching your front door on Halloween. To recreate this gawking greenery, coat a pair of gourds or avocado pits in white craft paint and hot-glue the "eyeballs" onto wooden stalks. Nestle them into the leaves, and they're bound to make the neighbors look twice.
Dripping Door Number
Some houses ooze charm; come October, yours drips in blood. This macabre touch is actually just colored hot glue. Squirt the red glue right onto the edges of your digits, blowing on it to accelerate cooling and help control the drops. This scare tactic also works on mailboxes and letter slots. After the holiday, simply peel off the evidence, leaving no trace of evil behind.
Shop Now: HUIHUIBAO Mini Hot Glue Sticks, $5.59 for 12 sticks, amazon.com.
Enter at Your Own Risk
To cement your reputation as the scariest house in the neighborhood, assemble our patented "nobody's home" fake-out. To begin, chalk the details of a door on black kraft paper and tape it to your real door's interior frame. Cut a hole in the middle that's just big enough to fit your arm (covered in mummy tape or a werewolf paw), and place candy below. It'll look like a mere prop—until it playfully reaches out to grab the hand of anyone sneaking an extra treat.
Haunted Miniature House
No need to turn your home into a haunted house. This small-size one does the trick: It's a dollhouse that's been repurposed into a treat station. Brush the walls with dirt and chalky paint to give the effect of an old house time had forgotten; then, suspend some fallen branches from the yard and hang a swarm of paper bats to complete the scene.
The secret to bringing these fairytale characters to life are simple templates. Slice off a small piece of the pumpkin's bottom to make a level base, hollow the pumpkin out, tape on a template, and press a pin into the skin along the lines. Then, remove the paper and connect the dots with a linoleum cutter, scraping the surface just deeply enough for light to shine through. Insert a battery-powered candle, and see your etchings glow.
"Night Watcher" Owls
Searching for a stylish, but slightly spooky way to greet guests this season? A pair of these "night watcher" owls cut from our template and traced onto black card stock or poster board will be a real hoot with trick-or-treaters on October 31.
If spooky scary goblins, spiders, and bats aren't your thing, a doorway lined in a witch's disassembled broomstick still evokes intrigue. To recreate the look, cut raffia into 7-inch lengths and gather into small bundles; wrap one end of each bundle with masking tape to secure in a broom shape. For the garland base, cut three pieces of one-half-inch-thick sisal rope: two pieces should be just longer than the door's sides and one just longer than its top. Then, wire a "broom" to the end of one of the long ropes with 24-gauge brass wire on a spool, and without cutting the wire, continue adding and overlapping brooms until you reach the end; repeat with other long rope.
Whoever said Halloween décor can't be chic has clearly never seen these pumpkins: Place a couple of these planters—filled with chrysanthemums, thistles, and seeded eucalyptus that have been colored gold with floral spray—on your front porch to create a warm, ambient glow on All Hallows Eve.
Shop Now: Martha Stewart Spray Paint and Primer, $11.48, amazon.com.
Looking for a wreath that captures the playfulness of Halloween? This wreath made of natural air-dried maple leaves, hydrangea, wispy wheat, and ornamental branches of Chinese lantern for added charm.
Shop Now: Ashland Grapevine Wreath, 18", $4.99, michaels.com.
An Attack of Bats
Looking for a foolproof way to bring an unexpectedly spooky element to your front door this Halloween? These easy-to-use paper bats cling to the glass of windows and mirrors without leaving any residue behind.